The Buffalo Bills started looking like an actual team towards the end of last season. If they can add some protection and maybe a few weapons for Josh Allen this team could make some noise.
The Bills had a strong finish to the 2018 season going 4-3 in their last seven games after starting the season 2-7. Josh Allen seemed to learn from his early mistakes and started using his running ability, averaging just under 80 yards per game over his last six. Granted, he would not have had to run so much had the offensive line not been so terrible. The offensive line ranked 30th in run blocking and 23rd in pass blocking. Robert Foster and Zay Jones also made strides late in the year but the Bills would be wise to add some extra pass catchers.
On defense long time defensive tackle Kyle Williams has retired leaving a hole in the middle of the defense. Trent Murphy is only a stop-gap and they are hoping Shaq Lawson makes a leap but they could use some edge help. Other than that the defense is in good shape.
Round 1, Pick #9 Cody Ford, Offensive Line- Oklahoma
As mentioned earlier the Bills had a terrible offensive line in 2018. Cody Ford is regarded as one of the top lineman in this years draft and fills the Bills’ biggest need. Ford is a mammoth of a man coming in at 6’4 and 340Lbs. He has surprisingly great footwork for a man with that size. Ford also carries a mean streak when blocking as he always finds somebody to hit.
The Bills are in major need of a starting offensive tackle. Last season they traded tackle Cordy Glenn to the Bengals. Oddly enough one of Ford’s pro comparisons is in fact Cordy Glenn. Could this be a sign?
Round 2, Pick #40 Irv Smith Jr., Tight End- Alabama
Irv Smith is coming off a good Junior season at Alabama. He finished with 710 yards and seven touchdowns averaging 16.1 yards per reception. He stands in at 6’4 and 240 Lbs. and runs about a 4.60 second 40 yard dash. Not only is Smith a great receiving tight end but his blocking may be his best trait. This means that he can stay on the field during obvious blocking situations. The Bills released Charles Clay and do not have anybody to play tight end, Irv Smith Jr. will start instantly.
Round 3, Pick #75 Kaleb McGary, Offensive Tackle- Washington
The Bills had a terrible offensive line last season and they do a great job at attacking the position in the draft. They grab two lineman in the top 75 both to make an instant impact with the team. He matches beautifully his size and athleticism and has a very powerful punch move that stops pass rush in its tracks. McGary is a beast in both the run game and pass game and an upgrade over anybody else on the Bills roster.
Round 4, Pick #113 Miles Sanders, Running Back- Penn St.
Miles Sanders was stuck behind Saquon Barkley for two years and barely touched the ball. In 2018 he finally became the featured back at Penn St. and flourished. He showed true three down back ability and also turned out great at the combine. Sanders finished 2018 with 1,274 rushing yards at 5.8 yards per carry, nine rushing touchdowns, and 24 receptions for 139 yards.
LeSean McCoy is not the back he once was. His health comes into question on a yearly basis. This is not saying that Sanders comes in and takes the lead back spot from McCoy, but it could come down to maybe a 60-40 split. McCoy still has plenty of ability and Sanders spelling him would make a nice one-two punch.
Round 5, Pick #148 Shareef Miller, Edge Rusher- Penn St.
Miller is a great two-year starter out of Penn St. In his last two years he totaled 78 tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss, and 13 sacks. He carries a very athletic skill set but needs to add more moves to his rush arsenal. The Bills currently have one solid defensive end in Jerry Hughes and then have Shaq Lawson. Lawson has shown flashes of his potential but cannot seem to put it all together. Adding Miller to the mix adds some competition hopefully to vault Lawson to his early round status or to take over as the starting end opposite Hughes.
Round 5, Pick #159 Daniel Wise, Interior Defensive Line- Kansas
The Bills just lost one of their long time defensive tackles Kyle Williams. He was a solid force in the middle of the defense for 13 seasons and has now retired. Daniel Wise is not quite as big as Williams but can wreak some havoc in the middle. Over a 42 game career Wise had totals of 152 tackles, 43 tackles for a loss, 17 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Almost one-third of his tackles come behind the line of scrimmage. He fills an immediate need at the tackle position for the Bills and will make an impact.
Round 6, Pick #182 KeeSean Johnson, Wide Receiver- Fresno St.
KeeSean Johnson could be the sleeper of the 2019 NFL draft. He has had a very productive college career at Fresno St. and has flown under the radar. In 51 games out west he produced 275 receptions for 3,463 receiving yards, and 24 touchdowns. He stands at 6’2 and 199 Lbs. and runs a 4.60 second 40 yard dash. Johnson can be a valuable asset in the redzone as he showcased good high point ball skills and a solid vertical. With Zay Jones’ inconsistency and Robert Foster coming off only his rookie season, Keesean Johnson could see some snaps.
Round 7, Pick #227 Clayton Thorson, Quarterback- Northwestern
Clayton Thorson is not going to come into the NFL and challenge anybody for a starting role. What he will do is become a solid and intelligent backup quarterback. Thorson has a career passer rating of 118.1 at Northwestern and has very good size for the position at 6’4 and 226 Lbs.. He has good mechanics and intelligence and can be a solid backup for if Josh Allen gets injured.
Round 7, Pick #230 Marquise Copeland, Defensive Tackle- Cincinnati
Here the Bills add another body to join the defensive line. Being so thin at the position means that even a seventh round pick could play a great deal of snaps in 2019. Copeland comes in with a solid collegiate resume as well. in 44 games he has 187 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defensed. The Bills could easily be employing two rookies as their starting defensive tackles this season.
The Bills attack the offensive line grabbing two great offensive lineman in the first three rounds. They add ample bodies to their defensive line adding depth with Shareef Miller, Daniel Wise, and Marquise Copeland. Josh Allen gets a safety blanket drafting athletic do it all tight end Irv Smith Jr. as well as a sleeper wide receiver in KeeSean Johnson. They find a little stability to take over at quarterback if Josh Allen gets injured by drafting Clayton Thorson. Lastly they find the successor to LeSean McCoy in the fourth round by drafting Miles Sanders. Needless to say this will be a better Bills team.